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Lewes Pound again

On 15 Jul 2009 at 4:35pm Not from around here wrote:
Hi all, Sorry to bring this up again.. but what EXACTLY is the situation with the 5% deduction from the LP.
It implies on the back of the notes themselves that there is a compulsory deduction of 5% to some local fund when you are naughty enough to change back to sterling. I believe it says something like 'a 5% donation applies'.
Somebody else told me that it was a 5% donation on top of the exchange back into sterling. If so, where does this 5% donation come from?
Can somebody clarify please - and sorry if this is somehwere esle in the forum.
On 15 Jul 2009 at 5:09pm Hotman wrote:
Funny, in the real world that 5% would be called a tax. And the only way they get tax out of us is by threatening to imprison us if we don't pay.
On 16 Jul 2009 at 8:34am bonfirek wrote:
That 5% pays for some serious tree hugging!
On 16 Jul 2009 at 10:59am Taxman wrote:
This 5% tax is scandalous, and probably illegal. You cant have a 'compulsory donation' and although the "fund" is managed by a charity, this cash will go to all sorts of crazy TTL per-projects
I think a Lewes Dollar should be launched in competition to the Lewes Pound to promote how capitalism and hi-technology will deliver the low carbon economy rather than the back to the 1700's lifestyle encouraged by Transition Town Lewes
On 16 Jul 2009 at 12:34pm Ed Can Do wrote:
The "fund" isn't managed by a charity as it happens. TTL is neither a registered charity or even a limited company. When you pay into the "fund", you're essentially giving Oliver Dudock Van-Heel or whatever his name is some money on the understanding that he says he'll do something nice for some locals with it. There's a registered charity called Transition Network but their articles of association say nothing more than vaguely looking after the environment.

The whole Lewes pound scheme has gone from an interesting experiment and curiosity last year to a ridiculously badly managed and possibly illegal joke now. If anyone does decide to pay the fine and change some up, ask who the charge is being collected by, exactly who mind you, get a name for the person or organisation that is collecting the money because someone has to take ultimate responsibility for it and I'd love to know who that is.
On 16 Jul 2009 at 12:45pm Ed Can Do wrote:
I just did a bit of digging and it seems the money ultimately ends up with the Sussex Community Foundation which is a registered charity, set up to fund community type things around Sussex. The official contact is a Kevin Richmond who lives on Falcon Wharf so it might be worth asking him exactly what controls are in place to ensure the money collected really does go to help Lewes.

As a matter of interest, do they ask you to sign a gift aid form when you convert your Lewes Pounds and pay the tax? If they are counting the tax as a donation, they would receive gift aid every time someone paid it and thereby raise a lot more money but then it'd have to be a voluntary donation (Although they might perhaps argue that by accepting a Lewes pound in the first place you are volunteering to make that donation).

According to the Lewes Pound website, there's a meeting with "local traders" upstairs at the Lewes Arms next tuesday evening from 6 to 8 to discuss the mechanism and how to operate the scheme better. One suspects this will mainly be an attempt at shutting the stable door before the horse is all the way through and there's no mention of whether you have to be invited or anyone can just turn up.
On 16 Jul 2009 at 1:01pm Taxman wrote:
It seems that the Sussex Community Foundation are simply acting as a shell charity and managing the fund - the 5% tax then goes to TTL who decide which "community projects' they will spend the cash on
Its all very Enron
On 16 Jul 2009 at 1:08pm Ed Can Do wrote:
It's worse than Enron, TTL not being a limited company means they don't have to produce publically available accounts, there's no way for anyone to monitor where they spend their money. The guys who set it all up could pocket the whole lot and nobody would ever know.
On 16 Jul 2009 at 1:53pm Hotman wrote:
It's not difficult to have nothing to do with the Lewes pound is it? I've only ever been offered one and I wasn't interested.
On 16 Jul 2009 at 8:35pm Agony Aunt wrote:
Me too.
As far as I'm concerned, the Lewes pound is not the full (20) shilling(s)
On 16 Jul 2009 at 10:39pm Gloria mundi wrote:
Now there's a thought, AA, why don't TTL bring back the old money? Pounds shillings and pence were so much easier to understand. You knew where you were with ten bob and half a crown. Perhaps the traders could be persuaded to price everything in 1971 prices and Lewes LSD could have an exchange rate as well as a commission/donation.

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